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State to get kits indicating the presence of swine flu


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POSTED: Saturday, May 02, 2009

By next week the state expects to have test kits available to allow Hawaii health officials to determine definitively whether a patient has contracted the H1N1 influenza strain, state officials said.

Having the test kits on hand means samples from people suspected of having the H1N1 strain will not have to be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday at a news conference in her office.

To date there have been no confirmed cases of the so-called swine flu in Hawaii.

The state also expects to receive next week its regular shipment of 46,000 courses of antiviral medication, adding to the 172,000 courses already in stock, Lingle said.

State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said the state has adequate supplies of medication, despite a run on the medication last week.

“;We encourage all of our providers — that would be physicians and clinics that are supplying these medications — to supply them judiciously and not feel that they have to put in an extra stockpile, because there is a definite supply of antivirals available,”; Fukino said.